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Garcia seeks caddies advice in Australia

Sergio Garcia will rely heavily on the advice of caddie Fanny Sunesson when he tackles the tricky Huntingdale layout in Thursday's opening round of the $1 million Ericsson Masters.

Garcia and defending champion Craig Spence will not arrive in Melbourne until tomorrow morning after playing the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, California.

The 20-year-old Garcia will have his first look at Huntingdale tomorrow afternoon when he intends to play a practice round.

He has already quizzed Spence about the course and also Victorian-born caddie Tony Lingard, who carries the bag of American Frank Lickliter on the US Tour.

Sunesson, who linked with Garcia after 10 years as Nick Faldo's caddie, could be his most valuable asset this week.

Sunesson's relationship with Faldo lasted longer than most women who have traversed his tempestuous life, and she did the yardages at Huntingdale when the six-time major winner played the Australian Masters.

But the Swedish caddie has not seen the changes made at Huntingdale before last year's Masters which provoked criticism from players including Craig Parry and Gary Player.

Garcia is likely to be paired with Aaron Baddeley for the opening two rounds of the Masters and the teenage Australian Open champion has prepared for the meeting by taking Spanish lessons.

"I'm hopeful of playing with Sergio and I've been working on my Spanish and am at a stage where I feel confident we will be able to communicate out on the course," Baddeley said. "I want him to feel welcome at Huntingdale."

Stuart Appleby is another unfamiliar with the changes after missing the past two Masters to campaign on the US Tour.

Appleby closed with a 68 to finish seven under at The Lakes on Sunday and is refreshed and ready for a schedule of 30 events in the US this year.

"I played 30 tournaments last year and my schedule is just about the same. It's a long year, but I'm young and fit; I can do it," he said.

Lucas Parsons, backing up after his triumph in the Greg Norman Holden International, will be without caddie Mark Williams this week.

Parsons described Williams as "solid as a rock" during the pressure of Sunday's final round at The Lakes. But Parsons had a commitment to use Murray Bingham, husband of former television hostess Nicky Buckley.

Williams, a former PGA Tour official and experienced caddie, had no problems landing a job with Kiwi Paul Devenport for the week.

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